In the US, there are roughly nine million vacation properties, the majority which are available for short-term rentals. One of the top issues property managers face is theft. Kirio is working to solve this problem by installing RFID tags that notify owners when an item leaves the premises.
Theft is a problem Kevin Fahsholtz, VP of Business Development for Kirio, has faced before. At a prior company, he managed a large number of vacation rental properties. Fahsholtz shared an example of a scenario Kirio hopes to prevent.
“We once had to deal with guests who rented one of our two-bedroom, ground floor units using a stolen credit card,” he said. “Over the weekend, they held a garage sale and completely emptied the unit, costing us about $5,000 in furniture and other items. They then held a party to celebrate their score. The ‘paying’ guests soon left, and left their ‘guests’ to face the police. In addition to us having to replace the stolen kit, and then rehab the unit (which was trashed), we lost a week’s rental income (costing us $1,500). With labor and lost revenue, we estimated the total loss approached $10,000.”
Kirio’s goal is to create a subscription monitoring system that includes a base system and RFID tags. The RFID tags would be attached to high-value or commonly stolen items such as TVs, coffee makers, clocks, irons and furniture, and an RFID reader would be placed at points of entry to scan for tags leaving the unit. Then, when a tagged item is removed from the property, the property owner would be notified via the subscription service.
View of entry/exit RFID Reader
“We once had to deal with guests who rented one of our two-bedroom, ground floor units using a stolen credit card...we estimated the total loss approached $10,000.”
As an added benefit for property owners this system would provide proof-of-theft, allowing them to automatically charge guests for items that go missing during their stay and offering important monetary protection for owners.
Kirio is excited by the opportunity to bring peace of mind, efficiency, safety and convenience to property owners. With such a large vacation rental market in the US alone, as well as first-hand experience, they are confident the hospitality market will welcome this service.